A podcast, in short, is a form of audio entertainment similar to the radio. Unlike the radio, however, podcasts are broadcasted on various platforms and can be listened to (and paused) at any time, making them completely on-demand. This fact is what has made them one of the most popular forms of media today.
According to a report by Edison Research, the number of monthly podcast listeners in the United States increased by 75% from 2014 to 2021, reaching an estimated 177 million listeners in 2022.
As illustrated above, podcasts have not only been a popular form of media for the past decade or so, but they have also experienced significant growth during this time. With the millions of podcast episodes out in the world, hosts have had to start thinking about filling a niche – and that’s where educational podcast channels come in.
In this article, we will explore how podcasts can serve as valuable learning tools for professional development and skill acquisition, as well as where and how you can get access some of the best educational podcasts for freelancers.
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Benefits of Podcasts for Your Learning Routine
Continuous learning is essential for professional success. Regardless of whether you are just starting out or an expert in your field, it is imperative that you regularly update your knowledge and continue your education in order to progress.
One way to support the continuous learning process is by consuming relevant and educational media, such as a podcast. Below, we will discuss a few benefits of incorporating podcasts into your learning routine.
One of the biggest advantages of podcast episodes is that they can be listened to at any time and can be easily accessed via your phone or computer. This makes them especially beneficial for those with busier schedules, as there’s always time to fit in some educational podcast listening. Whether you listen while driving, in the background when you work or even while you exercise, they fit so easily into your day.
Cater to Short Attention Spans
If you struggle with a short attention span, reading may not always be ideal for your learning routine. Podcasts, however, are generally short, engaging and entertaining, and require less mental effort than reading. Furthermore, many podcasts are also available in video form, making them even more engaging.
Podcast channels are readily available on free platforms such as YouTube, or with an affordable monthly subscription such as Audible. Many educational resources can be pricey, and therefore not affordable on a regular basis.
Individuals with visual impairments may struggle to consume educational content through reading or watching videos. Podcasts are an easy and accessible way to learn, and require nothing more than a smartphone or tablet to access.
Quick and Easy to Ingest
Generally, you can learn more in an hour-long podcast episode than you could by reading for an hour. This is because audio content is more stimulating to our brains, and information is easier to understand when spoken out loud as opposed to reading that same information.
Cover a Wide Range of Topics
From career development to science to history, podcasts cover every topic imaginable. All it takes is a simple search to access the information you’re looking for, and subscribing to a podcast within your desired niche will bring you a great deal of knowledge you previously did not know you needed.
Give You Access to Industry Leaders and Experts
Podcast hosts often feature guest speakers to elaborate on certain topics. These guests are generally experts in their field, industry leaders or even influential people, and are there to give valuable information and advice that you would otherwise not have had access to.
Where to Find Podcasts for Professional Development
There are a plethora of platforms on which to listen to podcasts, either free or with a monthly subscription. Below are some of the best platforms for finding and listening to podcasts for professional development:
YouTube is free to the public and contains many of your favorite podcast episodes in video form. Often, podcast hosts will film their sessions and upload them to the video streaming service for those that prefer to have visual stimulation while listening.
Spotify can either be used for free with regular ads, or by subscribing to Spotify Premium for ad-free listening. This platform offers both music and podcasts and is one of the most popular choices for both.
Apple Podcasts provides free access to more than 30 million podcast episodes, as well as the option to pay a monthly subscription for access to premium channels.
Google Podcasts is another great free option, with millions of podcast episodes available at the touch of a button.
Audible is a paid audiobook streaming service, but recently it has started to feature both exclusive and publically available podcast channels for its users.
Tips for Maximizing Learning from Podcasts
If you want to further boost the educational benefits of podcasts for professional development, below are some tips for maximizing your learning. By implementing this advice, you can increase your learning from podcast episodes and enhance your knowledge and skills in your chosen fields.
- Choose podcasts that align with your interests and goals
- Take notes while you listen, in order to remember important information
- Listen actively, focus on what the speaker is saying and avoid distractions
- Pause and reflect regularly, in order to truly absorb the information
- Follow up on any additional resources or references, to help you deepen your understanding of the topic
- Listen regularly to build your knowledge and skills over time
- Discuss your newfound knowledge with others in order to solidify your understanding of the topic
Podcasts are a valuable tool for continuous professional development, offering convenient and accessible ways to learn new skills and enhance career prospects.
By incorporating podcast channels into your learning routine, you can benefit from their short, engaging format and gain access to industry leaders and experts. With a wide range of topics available on various platforms, podcasts offer affordable and easily accessible learning options for individuals with visual impairments or short attention spans.
To maximize your learning, choose a podcast that aligns with your interests and goals, actively listen and take notes, and follow up on any additional resources. By implementing these tips, you can enhance your knowledge and skills and achieve your professional development goals.